May 22, 2012
Summary of the Three Dimensions of Love
Psychologist Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love explains love in interpersonal relationships. Sternberg’s theory of love describes love based on three different scales: intimacy, passion, and commitment. A relationship based a single one of the theory elements is not likely to survive and will be weak. A relationship based on two or more of the components are stronger and more likely to survive.
The first of the three dimensions is intimacy. Intimacy is the process in which we get closer to one another. Intimacy in a interpersonal relationship involves sharing of similarities and differences in thoughts, ideas, experiences, and feelings. In intimacy, one feels close enough to another to make disclosures of a personal nature to the other person.
The second of three dimensions is passion. Passion is the strong emotion or feeling of attractedness to another. Passion is the experience of physical closeness to another person that is a spark of interest in another person usually of a sexual nature.
The third of the dimensions of love is commitment. Commitment is the desire and effort put into maintaining a love relationship long-term. Commitment requires a balance of the three dimensions of love and while this is the most desired love relationship of a couple, it is the most difficult to maintain.
Different types of love can be explained as different combinations of the three scales. Liking or friendship is intimacy shared between parties. In friendship there is a bond between to people but there is not passion or long-term commitment. Romantic love is an emotional bond that is intimate and becomes physical through passion or sexual desire for another person. Infatuation is strong passion without intimacy and commitment. Infatuation with another person is often described as puppy love, a crush, or...